Fake Streams Could Cost Artists & Labels $300M In Revenue A Year: Report

Artists faking their streams and views is not a secret to anyone really. It's a known practice within the music industry that's caused a lot of controversy in the past. However, that hasn't prevented labels and artists from inflating their numbers. In a new report from Rolling Stone, Hopeless Records founder Louis Posen said that he suspects labels and artists are losing "$300 million in potential revenue" due to fake streams. "Computerized click farms and bots" have become a growing issue in the music industry with streams coming from fake profiles and users.

Posen began looking into this issue after a song released from his label received "35,000 streams a day for three consecutive days" following the track's addition to six separate Spotify playlists. Posen then began investigating the matter due to how suspicious it seemed. "The playlists were created recently; they gained a bunch of followers in one week; they’ve never gained another follower since then; and all the plays happened in a three-day period," Posen said. Posen continued to explain that there have been people who have  "hacking into legitimate accounts and streaming from those accounts when they’re not streaming music."

Paid playlist placements have also become a source of influence streaming numbers. "Playlisters create a network, and are like, ‘I have access to a million monthly listeners,'" an anonymous source said. "Artists pay for [access to] that."

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